And a happy new year to you.
Although I can barely bring myself to say that out loud. With things being as they are, and people’s situations being as they are, the best I can hope for is that we end 2021 alive and in a better place than we begin it.
Such a strange feeling. I’m fortunate never to have had a life-threatening illness, so I’ve not personally felt so close-to-home that sense that any one of us could be dead in a fortnight. The nearest I’ve got to it was approaching my 40th birthday – my joy on reaching that milestone was huge. I had deeply internalised the feeling that I never would, based (with no good reason) on the fact that my dad died a few weeks short of his 40th birthday.
Back to now. Here in England, in lockdown mark 3. Let’s hope that this time the government does what they singularly failed to do in marks 1 and 2, which is to use the time constructively to ensure that we have a fully functioning track, trace and isolate system, that people have the support they need to enable them to be able to isolate if necessary (and to stick to the lockdown rules), and to ensure that the vaccine roll-out is swift and effective – with clear accurate and timely information about numbers actually achieved. All of which would seem like minor miracles after the unbelievable displays of incompetence and denial we’ve seen so far.
In the meantime, in the words of the wonderful Michael Rosen, “We can’t go over it, we can’t go under it. Oh no! We’ve to go through it.”
(If you haven’t read We’re Going on a Bear Hunt yet, you really should). The good thing is, we’ll come out the other side.
Our job now, given that we are the very lucky ones with choices, is to find ways to get ourselves through and hopefully bring others along with us. At the very least, we can do everything in our power to keep ourselves healthy and well, to avoid passing on infection to anyone else and avoid additional pressure on the NHS.
For us this means:
- Continuing the daily walks
- Finding interesting things to do at home – more on this in due course
- Offering support to others where its needed and where we can
If you’ve enjoyed Malcolm’s photos from our virtual coffee jaunts, you might enjoy following him on Instagram. One of his new projects for 2021 is to post daily through the year. A cornucopia of photographs reflecting his wide-ranging interests. You can find him on Instagram @malcolmdodds